tv Washington Business Report ABC January 4, 2015 9:00am-9:31am EST
>> bususiness news from the capital region. this is washington business report with abc national correspondenrebecca cooper. >> thinks for a look at business and finance in the washington region. as you gear up for the new year and new resolutions for success we are bringing you special show highlighting the best in business. our business high night -- highlighted a navy seal. this week, more from our top talkers in washington success story. celebrating the good food has become big business in washingtonon. it has morphed into a celebrated foodie destination.
>> washington claims you as our son, our native son. tell me about your life and where they grew up. >> we grew up in montrl. my family was in the restaurant business. whenen i was about 14 years old about 20 of our family members moved there for the world'd's fair. it was o one of the most successful ones that they had for a long time. they had six different venues in the fair. it was an amazing experience. instead of moving back to montreal we just moved back t to
florida. that is how i got my start in the united states. >> did thehey come looking for you for the competition or did you go looking for them? >> my sister had been a fan of the show, she had been watching project runwnway for a couple of cyes. the new show was introduced in our before. this new competitioneality show. therere was a lot of drama. i was one the chefs critiquing the show. i'm not going to in my career on a reality show. i earned my strengths when i got my three michelin st restaurant. i starte plateauing.
>> where you board? >> i had to learn so much french food for years. you can a always learn more but i had done smuch for so o long. i did three and a half years. i still loved it. it gave me the o opportunity for something fun and differerent and competitive. i had been in the restaurant business since i was 13. i took a a risk. it was lighthearted. i had nothing to lose when i was first filming the shows. >> how do you think you are per trade? -- portrayed? >> a little bad boy fun brand going on. it was a great show.
the thing is you can do well in it, but it is up to you on how you can carry the brand and represent. how much time you can devote to it. it will get the peoe in the seats in the restaurant for the first time. a top chef kind of -- top chef changed my life overnight. >> you are a media sensation. what happened? >> my parents and my sisterer and i all decidedo jump back into the restaurant business together. my parents were all tired and they were driving us nuts. ththey had done everything from fine dining to fast casual to fast food, whatever it was.
>> did you think yourself, washington, the town known f bad food. were you thinking, no way? >> yes. i was thinking that. i was in the new york food scene . when y don't havehe celebrities you have now new york is the place you want to be seen. >> washington is in the top 10. >> it would not have been to10 at all. in 2008 is was still very pedestrian as far as that is concerned. we have made some mistakes and corrected them. chicago is our first city that we have to get on a flight and go to. that relationship is to be determined. i think it is going to be great for our company to t take this
step. >> do u envision it being nationwide. >> big time. i envision it being international. >> people roll their eyes when they hear about washington and the congress and capitol hill. you are a famous foodie on capitol hill. do you have to try and succeed in spite of being in the middle of a place that is so maligned? >> i love being in the middle of washington government. it hasas added value to our brand. >> how so? > being inspired by young staffers and people e that are here. ey wake up every day to make a change. moving around so much, i didid not have a sense of cocommunity. this is the first time as an adult i felt part of the community. >> making a difference in washington dc. thank you so much for joining
i get home at 4:30. i alady knew what i was going to make for dinner that night. >> the word i hear all the time for my members is a life-changing. >> she doesn't prepare your meals for you, she makes it easier for youo do it your self. >> we are going to make a rosemary lemon pork chop area did we have been using is for a couple of years. >> that is the secret behind this small business. they found a market for beg a mirroror. it reflects the family's dietary restrictions, time constint, and shopping habitits. >> it started with meealizizing that planning a few meals in advance was the key to my own sanity. wetarted talking to other moms
about what is going on with them. i started informally sharing my weekly plants with people. theyey were so excited about the concept that i rlized instead of doing another cookbkbook, w why not give people plans for the week? >> i just got home from picking up my bb from daycare. >> iet up a weekly plan with recipes and a grocery list so they can shop once a week and get everything they need for healthy meals. >> it is making me e hungry. a >> with more than 6000 paying customers, the plan is to expand and help out not only in the kitchen but in the grocery store. >> i would s i am working more than full-time othe business because i have big pan -- big plans.
the next logical step is to bee ablele to click a button and order groceries. >> it was a springboard for me to f ind other recipes out there. >> when you have an idea and you start a business,ou never stop create that she ver stop creating. -- you never stop creating. their needs are changing over ti. u have to be able to give them what they are looking for next. >> from the success of 6:00 scraramble to this, this next spotlight al features a mom. this win created a company known for efficiency. as maurice jones reports, having no outside funding improves powering for on-chip been her friend cragg.
-- for on-chip and are -- for and japanr entrepreneur fran craig . >> many of our operators that many of our -- many of our people operate like that. they hobble it together with chewing gum and rubber bands. ours is all one. >> we look at it for ranting of how pele arere using mobile devices with webpages. >> hurdles to not scare her. >> we are doing a lot of web-based developmpment. i'm sure we can do something where we can get immediate results. i spokto se of our customers and freddie participated.
>> the software e is currently being perfected and specialized with 20 virtual l employees and 45 employees in this northern virginia office. her team is a strong one. it is like family. she has watched heson move up thranks to become a top salesman. >> it is really like working withth one of your best friends, instead of working with yourur mom. >> our revenues are growing. that is pretty good. >> the cpany is a success by most measures. it is not beholden to anyone except its customers. >> there is no private equity, no venture capapital. there is no interest in tang that on right now. it is a decision we made to focus on the growth of companies we have invested oururselves
inead ofof taking on outside capital. thimportant t thing is it allows us to focus on o custotomers. >> we first went out to the.com. many of our customers went away. we looked around and said what a stable government contracting.g. so we went into that market. >> the hardest part is to locate the right project. >> somebody was painting our house in fifth grade. he said what do u want to bebe when you grew up? i said i want to be president of ththe united statates. i'm not president but i am a ceo. so that's good. >> a true smamall business suess. stay with us for a beauty success.
>> welcome back. now our old one-on-one interview with a ceoeo who saw the potential of the internet long befo many of us knew it was possible. he launched blue mercury in 1999 as a website. she quickly realized she was too far ahead of the internet curve. she opened a store and stuck with it. now with more than 50 retail stores across the country she tells us how she built the largest beauty chain of itits kind.
forbes magazine descs bes your company as the largest beauty retail and spot service compy in the u.s.. how did it all start out? >> i came into washington and nevehad a time to shop. that then you u could only for -- back then you u coulonly buy cosmetics for drugstores. the whole idea was the friendly neighborhood store where you can t expert honest vice. we s started with e-commerce because you could not by ute products on the ininternet and quickly realized we werere too early. >> your path is an interesting one. you are a californiaia gir at a harvard business school. you love makeup, you love prododucts, you ve facials.
i'm guessising there were not a lot of people focused on makakeup and cials. >> i hid that passion because it wasn't prprofessional to love maup at that point. when i was growing up i had facials befo anyone knew what facials work. when i came to boston i was lookingg for spas and skin cacare products and i i cou not find the ones i used in california. it became a reality when i moved to washington. >> y you are verserious about your studies. you worked at mckenzie. you not only got your nba -- your mba you attendethe harvard business school of government. >> i thought i would go into business, make my money, and then go into public policy. i can do anything. i'm doing itit all at blmer curie. >> you are working for a fince cocompany y and you are trying to buy a compy and met your future husband.
now he is coo of this company. how did that relationship develop? >> he started a company withh his brother. he is an amazing entrepreneur, the kind of person i never met before. he w would get more done in a day than anyone i ever thought. he has gotot to started with me. i recruited him more as a higher. we opened d our fourth l locatn. we had kids in different locations. a kid allocationumber eight. our lastst kidame at location 13 throrough 25. >> people say it is cliche to work with women -- to talk about women about working balance. >> i thihink everybody has their own way. i integrate work and life together.
we checked out the newtore together. for me it is about integrating. i nev off. some people have to turn off. i ththink it worksks for me. >> hiring people is onof tnt things when you are a retailer. what have you learned in terms of tos most important steps you ed to take? qualities you need to look for. >> i have a lens, a way i higher. i look for skills, will, and fit. >> do they fit with the culture of the company and how we work. one thing ththat is really important to us is if you don't love them you can't learn them. the send thing is you have to be nice. the whole concept is it is a friendly store. if you do't like other people it is not thright place.
>> i is it hard to find someone who has a g good retail m mind? >> a lot of people love beauty products. even then n you have to have an affinity for products. >> havyou slowly make the online part of the business succeed? >> i think we just kepept at it. we launchehed our site in 1999. i saw this whole new wld. i said if i could buy custom and ask online it would be the best thing in the world. not everybody had fast internet connections. we just stuck at it for years and years and push at it. finally it took off about 10 years ago. we have been in thbusiness of e-commercece for a long time and continue to grow the business. >> beauty products are a huge market. there are a lot of a good me competititors that do not want to see some upstart takake any of ththeir market share. how do you bait beat the big guys and keep growing?
>> we see trends earlier and we are very nimble. >> this is a a big year, your 15th year. think aut where you started and where you are now, what amazes you the most? >> it is hard to even imagine. we have 500 is. for me it is always one thing at a time. used to say it is one store at a time and one customer at the time. that is the way to do business, think big but work small. that seems to be the best way to do it. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you. we will bebe right back.
>> thank you for joining us for this special editi of the best of washington business report. i am rebecca cooper. thank you cable. for the slower internet upload speeds. for making me wait longer to share my photo albums. thank u cable, because if we never had you... we wouldn't know the incredible
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